Connect with us

Non League

Further updates given on takeover talks at Rochdale, Southend and Torquay – 9th March 2024

Further updates have been given this week on takeover talks at Rochdale, Southend United and Torquay United as per reports.

There is some encouraging news for Rochdale and Torquay while much to some frustration, Southend are still waiting for approval.

Torquay United Supporters’ Trust state that one of the potential bidders for the financially struggling National League South outfit presents a promising and achievable vision for the future.

At league above Rochdale, they have received approval from its shareholders to issue nine million new shares in the club, with this development setting the stage for World Soccer Holdings, an American group, to proceed with their takeover plans.

Meanwhile at Southend, Tom Lawrence, the chief executive of the club, has acknowledged that the finalisation of the club’s takeover may still be a few months away.


American group World Soccer Holdings are mounting a takeover, having signed a letter of intent to purchase the club on the 29th of February.

The proposal went through after an extraordinary general meeting held on Thursday after the club entered financial difficulty and expressed concerns that Rochdale could not survive beyond March unless they get fresh investment.

US and UK group ‘The Football Club LLC’ have also announced another bid after the EGM. Read more on that HERE.

“I’m very relieved. If the vote had not gone through, I probably would have been sat contemplating no future for the club and an administration process,” Gauge told BBC Radio Manchester.

“We’re at the totally opposite end of the scale now. We’ve got something to sell at the club now that new shares have been approved.

“Now we’ve passed these resolutions we can [start to] have serious talks about what a bid [for the club] looks like.

“Another company has come forward overnight that have issued a letter of intent as well so now we’ve got two parties publicly interested.

“We are optimistic that we’ll be able to secure at least one of them for investment.”


Southend United chief executive Tom Lawrence has said that final completion of a takeover of the club could still be a couple of months away after a deal was agreed between owner Ron Martin and a consortium led by Australian Justin Rees back in December.

A 10-member consortium, which includes Lawrence, is still waiting for the go-ahead from the city council.

“Contracts were exchanged. Justin and Ron have done what they need to do,” Lawrence told BBC Look East.

The consortium want to stay at Roots Hall, unlike Martin who wanted to move to a new stadium, and last November, the council approved a report recommending 500 new homes be built out of town instead of on the Roots Hall site.

“A step needs to be taken by the council that involves them doing a due diligence exercise on the movement of dwellings from this site to the Fossett’s site so we can stay where we are,” Lawrence explained.

“We are all now waiting for the council to go through that process…

“People are nervous about putting timescales on things – six to eight weeks is what I’ve heard in terms of the due diligence and it might take a couple of weeks after that for the (council) cabinet procedure to go through.

“We are a couple of months away from things being completed, which is not ideal, but we’ve all been waiting some time and we’ll just keep going until it’s completed.”

“While the wait goes on, there is still more good news for Southend, with the club no longer under a transfer embargo and have since brought number of new players.”

The Shrimpers currently sit 11th in the National League standings having drew 1-1 against Wealdstone in midweek, meaning Kevin Maher’s side are 11 points off the playoff places and five points above the relegation zone.

The consortium hopes to reach a “break-even position” within five years and once formally in control have plans to redevelop the ground.

Lawrence said, per BBC Sport: “The whole stadium needs a lift, all four stands need some work undertaken.

“We’re hoping to get on with the West sooner rather than later; ideally we’d like to start before May 2025. We’ll then turn our attention to the East and that’s going to be a complete demolition job.

“Getting the West improved, we can do relatively quickly and at modest capital expenditure. The East is going to take some significant planning because we want to have conference and banqueting facilities built into it.

“It’s not going to be bog standard, we want something we can look back on in 20 years and say ‘I helped create that legacy’. Equally, we’re not going to be too design-driven, it has to be a functional commercial space that we can use to generate income and get to that break-even position.”

The CEO adds that the new board are “respectful” and will keep the club’s heritage in mind when it comes to planning the new East stand.

“When we get the initial plans together, we will take input from the new advisory board that’s been set up, we don’t want to lose our identity.

“But it’s difficult to maintain, moving towards end of life and the sooner it goes the better, in my opinion.”


As it approaches two weeks since Torquay United served its intention to appoint administrators, the Club would like to provide the Yellow Army with an update regarding the current situation.

The Club would like to once again extend its sincere thanks to the Yellow Army, and wider footballing family for their support in recent weeks. Whether you attended our recent quiz night, visited Boots & Laces during the week, purchased from our Club Shop, donated via our PayPal page, bought a raffle ticket, supported our latest auction, or purchased matchday tickets, your contribution, whether big or small, is hugely appreciated by everyone at the Club.

Following our previous update, we are pleased to confirm that as of Monday 4th March, total donations generated via the various methods outlined above now stand at an amazing £13,618.52.

Your continued generosity towards maintaining professional football at Plainmoor continues to be hugely appreciated, and only goes to show how important this Football Club is to so many people.

We would also like to extend our thanks to fellow National League South Club Weymouth for their support. At our away fixture last Saturday, The Terras very kindly undertook a bucket collection, whilst also donating £5 from every away ticket sold to Torquay United Supporters Trust, who will then pass over the sum raised to the Club in due course.

Following the announcement of the Club’s intention to enter administration, Torquay United was officially put up for sale on Friday 23rd February. Now that two weeks has passed since this, as of Thursday 7th March, we can confirm that the interim moratorium has been extended for a further 10 working days.

The Club has been in correspondence with a number of interested parties, all of whom have previously been issued Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Any interested parties that have progressed to the next stage of the process have now been granted access to the data room, to advance their interest in acquiring the Club, with talks continuing to progress with these various parties.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in investing in the Club, then please get in touch as soon as possible by emailing secretary@torquayunited.com.

Whilst a new owner(s) are being sought, the Club is totally reliant on income being generated, and on non-matchdays this can sometimes be difficult. Therefore, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has made a purchase, whether that be via sponsorship, ticket sales, or even by purchasing a pint in Boots & Laces – every penny continues towards safeguarding the Club’s immediate future during this period, and we have been, quite frankly, blown away by the response following the launch of our plea for donations.

Following the update of donations now hitting over £10,000, donations continue to be gratefully received via the link HERE. Supporters can be assured that all money being paid into the Club – be it via tickets, purchases or donations will ONLY be used to ensure the Club’s essential operating costs are met – in effect, to help Torquay United continue functioning as a professional Football Club, and fulfilling its fixtures. Your money will NOT be used in any other way.

With so much goodwill being shown by so many people, the Club wishes to clarify that only by paying donations directly into our designated PayPal account, can supporters be guaranteed that these funds will be used to ensure Torquay United continues to function during this uncertain period.

With 11 games to go, 5 of which being here at Plainmoor, there’s still plenty to play for out on the pitch, and supporters can be assured that under Interim Manager Aaron Downes, the players and staff will be giving their all as we head into the final stages of the 2023/24 campaign. We hope that everyone enjoyed our last game at Plainmoor against Aveley, which saw packed out stands giving the whole Club a lift, and the financial boost received from a bumper attendance, in addition to the extra revenue from 50/50 ticket sales, Club Shop sales, programmes, meals, mascot and sponsorship bookings, as well as bar takings cannot be underestimated. This Saturday, we are once again calling on the Yellow Army and footballing family to come and support YOUR Club for our designated ‘Family Day’.

With South Devon College very kindly sponsoring our forthcoming Family Day at Plainmoor this Saturday, 9th March, we would like to thank our front of shirt sponsors for their continued support. ‘Family Day’ will see families pack out the Wollens Terrace for a special discounted rate. Following on from the bumper crowd against Aveley two weeks prior, we very much look forward to seeing a packed Plainmoor rocking for this Saturday’s home fixture against Dartford!

In the meantime, supporters with any queries can continue to email yellowarmy@torquayunited.com, meanwhile our Frequently Asked Questions page with questions raised by supporters will continue to be frequently updated, the FAQ page can be found HERE.

Torquay United Supporters’ Trust (TUST) said, per BBC Sport: “We are ourselves in discussion with a few interested parties to support their applications and one in particular offers an exciting, deliverable vision for the future of a community-based club,” a statement from TUST read.

“We have also spoken with a number of the other potential owners with a view to securing supporter involvement in any future running of the club.

“We hope to engage with all shortlisted bidders and to this end the administrators have indicated that they will encourage serious bidders to contact TUST if they have not already done so, as a collegiate approach with TUST moving forward is seen as beneficial in view of the ever-increasing TUST membership and the positive impact TUST can have on the club.”

TUST says any new owners “are being asked to ensure their bids include demonstrating the financial capacity to support the club over a minimum three-year period.”

TUST also has a fund worth £60,000 which it has built up should the Gulls be unable to find a new owner or have to be relaunched as a phoenix club.

“It has never been the intention that such funds would be used to buy the club or meet its running costs, but to facilitate the rescue through consultancy or legal costs etc,” TUST stated.

“The board intend to retain these monies for that purpose in the event that a change of ownership is not facilitated and the club does indeed go into liquidation and requires resurrection.

“It is important to note at this stage that your TUST board have gained increasing confidence from the meeting held with the club and officials that this will not be necessary, but we need to remain prudent and ensure that reserves are retained for the purpose for which they were originally intended.

“It is also important to note that our cash reserves are increasing steadily by the day as a result of the influx of new members and donations that have been made directly to the TUST bank account.”

“We are keen to be involved in the running of the club moving forward in order to represent fans, but do not feel TUST funds would be best spent on commencing our own ownership bid at this time in view of the indicative capital investment that would be required, the existence of other potential credible owners and the timescale involved,” TUST added.

“That is not to say we are completely discounting this option if events change.

“However, it is possible that TUST could form part of a wider ownership structure and discussions are being held with a number of interested parties in this respect.

“We continue to believe fans need to be represented formally and this is something we are keen to push for.”

This is what fans are saying amid further updates given on takeover talks at Rochdale, Southend and Torquay…

@TORQUAYTALK: ‘TUFC was officially put up for sale on Friday 23rd Feb. Now that 2 weeks has passed since this, as of Thursday 7th March, we can confirm that the interim moratorium has been extended for a further 10 working days’, Hopefully positive news is just around the corner #tufc

@RichHeesem: Sounds positive. Keep supporting @TUFC1899 football family. Please help us save our club #tufc

@Tufc_Ultra: Yellow Army, I’ll tell you here and now, WE ARE INCREDIBLE! so many people coming to support the club when they needed us is nothing short of incredible. Follow this up at Dartford and we keep the club alive. Special thanks to @TUFC1899 for keeping us fans in the loop #tufc

@MikePAFC_: C’mon lads 💛💚

@Simontimofish: Spoke to cllr Tony Cox the takeover should be completed by end of March beginning of April #southend

@antsk: Not good enough! You’d think the largest community asset in the City (name any other that gets 6,000+ people every other week) would manage to receive some priority!

@PaulTho32949139: Where most organisations take 1-2weeks off at xmas, council offices pack up for a month. They then go skiing in January & take Feb Half Term off. Factor in they don’t bother going into the civic anymore as all ‘working’ from home Get the picture!!

@299Peter: Factor in the Councils obvious negotiation skills and Ron Martin …….!

@ShrimpersTalk: No way it’ll be sorted before the summer break but I hope it’s sorted before pre-season

@299Peter: Last home game of the season is 20/4….. what odds it’s still not sorted by then? @shrimperstrust @Anna_Firth @cllrtonycox

@Justin_Dijkstra: 😩😩😩 Whilst Ron has his greasy little paws in our club this is far from over! Just can’t understand why so many more delays

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Non League